Last day is here 41kms to the finish and the sun was out , I couldn’t have asked for any more. With Noyuri having come up from Tokyo to hang with us Shingo was out and ready to run. He whipped out 11kms ,it was great to have him there with me and not in the van. We started at 9.30 as we had heaps of time to get to Kesennuma, The goal was 4pm at the Ferry terminal.
As we came into Rikuzentakata I straight away thought we might have hit a very badly hit place. I was right , the town is set on a very flat area and a 13m came though so I got told. It had nothing to stop it and just kept going right up the valley and the width was huge as well. There is almost nothing left. Huge piles of the rubbish left behind everywhere.
About 20 diggers in here sorting and recycling all the piles. It is a huge job and they think it will take a few years to do it. with out these piles disappearing they can’t rebuild on the areas.
Still so many buildings that are to be pulled down but at the mo are safe enough to leave until they get more space to put all the materials.
This tree has become very famous and as you can see it is the only one left and is in a spot right at the ocean side and well not sure how it survived. A great thing all the same and i would say now become a power point for many.
Just as we got to into Miyagi prefecture which our last one to run my great friends Tateru and Akane arrived all the way from Aomori a good 4 hr drive. They came down to run and finish with me, So happy , we met at last years Ginga marathon and again at this years one . Super energy and great to have more people to celebrate with and of course run with.
Our run today as for the last few days had a lot of hills to run up but NOTHING could slow me down today, Last day power is something amazing. NZ was the same I was just running and smiling the whole way thinking of what we have all done together .
We arrived at the big ship that is grounded in the middle of Kesennuma city , it is about 700m from the ocean where some houses were. There we meet up with the boys from Tasukiai Japan who we had met a month ago in Sendai , they had come up to celebrate with us to and do a little interview. Thankyou so much.
From here it was only 1.8kms to the end and I was jumping with joy, we had really done it and no real problems or hiccups to stop us. That is the biggest thing and only thing I hoped for . The plan is always the hardest thing to make and it be able to keep it over a 97days adventure was huge.
When we were here a month ago I had met Shirahata san who owns the Ferry company to Oshima and I had asked him if he had time to hep me sort the finish as I knew no one. He was amazing and sorted something I had never ever thought was going to happen. He had been to the local council office and they were there, Newspapers and cable Tv also turned up . It was so Awesome.
I had sent shingo to the end with a few little directions and to met Kai san from Listel to make some kind of finish and when Shingo got there heaps of people were there getting things ready for us. SO great . He quickly got the Headbands that Kidzaina had got all the kids to sign when we did the 2 events with them in Osaka(Koshien) and Tokyo . A great idea and it looked great. Lots of positive comments from the locals which makes me feel great.
Also a goal line with heaps of peoples messages had been made , remember I had no idea this was happen so when I came around the corner I was so happy, crying a bit too. Dad had rang me and was in my pocket listening to it all as I finished. He had told me that it was the last day a year ago that he got out of hospital after his stroke which made today even more special. Love ya Ronnie.
I came into the biggest surpise of a finish ever, I thought none was here but around 50 or 60 people were there. Banners, NZ flags were up and lots of smiles to welcome us in. Me and Shingo had made it and I think everyone who had helped us get here should be very proud of what we did. I was so so happy to have had so much support from all over the world.
A few presentations with the Major and a bit of a thank you speech and I got to tell a few little stories of our trip up Japan.
SO happy to have so many newspapers and cable TV channel down here. The big banner here was carried in by the 2 boys at the front and is a very good luck flag. Most of the people in the photos all lost there shops that were right where we are standing but they have made new temporary ones here and it is a great place to come for a brew or dinner or a beer , which is what I was thinking at this point.
Had a few interviews which was awesome, even Shingo was into it, That made me happy as I didnt do this alone and wouldn’t do it alone. People are why I try and do these runs, I love people and what happens when everyone comes together . Shingo is a legend and I thank hm with all my heart.
We when went out for dinner which Wako san had sorted out. A great fun time to see so many smiles and the feeling that we had done something pretty cool was just what I had come to see. Hide from Recovery Services had come up from Tokyo too, he has been with me all the way though NZ and now Japan and a friend for 20yrs now. Thankyou Hide.
As we walked around a lot of people called us in and we had a few beers together. Also met Tahir Syed who has lived here for 25yrs and from the day after the tsunami he has been going around making Curry and Nan for the affected people. An amazing thing for anyone to do, He was told to not go there and police didnt want him to right the start but he jus pushed on and did it. I take my hat off to you bro. Great to meet u and your team.
SO you can imagine just how happy I are at the moment and will keep saying it over my whole life , THANKYOU all so so much.
Will write more over next few days. ARIGATOU !!!!!!! WE DID IT.
Here is the map of todays run Click Here